My name is Gill (Gillian when I’m in trouble) Cowell. I’m of an age I won’t admit to because my body says one thing and my brain says another. I’ve been married to Tony for fifteen years, this is a second marriage for me. The first was very unhealthy but I have two wonderful sons and now six grandchildren, family is the most important part of my life. I have to admit my life experiences are many and if I wrote them down even I wouldn’t believe it!
My biggest battles have been dealing with breast cancer, but I am now a seventeen year survivor, amazing! All my life I have had clinical depression and anxiety. The group courses I have done with the mental health team locally are anxiety management and coping skills, these have been so helpful with my families.
I got to hear about Home-Start by being invited to a fundraising coffee morning. Who should be there but Hazel, Mandy and Amanda. I have to admit I’d never heard of Home-Start. I’d been looking for a while to do some volunteering, after the death of my Dad. Nothing seemed to grab me UNTIL Amanda explained what the scheme was about, then a serious chat at my house had me signed up.
The training was second to none and although quite intense it has stood me in great stead for my families.
I love what I do and the satisfaction is so good.
My greatest memory is of a family from last year, it was a nightmare and I had to work closely with Amanda, there were so many authorities involved. Mum and child were in a desperate situation, I almost gave up, it was intense, but everyone had given up on them and I wasn’t going to do the same. When I left them it was so emotional, they were well on the way to fulfilling everything on their wish list. Mum was in tears and her words were – you were the best thing that could of happened to me, I have a lump in my throat writing this.
This says it all, this is what Home-Start and volunteering is about. xx